Educators from every corner of the state invited all three candidates for Governor to sit down and discuss issues central to Maine students and public schools. On Saturday, both Independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Mike Michaud accepted the invitation from the Maine Education Association to talk about their views on education policy affecting students and the future of education in the state. Governor Paul LePage never responded to MEA’s request to attend. Upon meeting, educators questioned both Cutler and Michaud on topics ranging from funding to charter schools to higher education funding and poverty.
After an hour long interview with each candidate, educators, who are members of the MEA chose to endorse Democrat Mike Michaud for Governor.
"MEA's members had a spirited debate following the interviews. It was clear that Mike Michaud will be a governor who puts public school students first. Our students and educators deserve a leader in Augusta who supports our students and educators, and who will engage in discussion about achieving the best possible public schools for our children. Mike Michaud is that candidate," said Lois Kilby-Chesley, teacher and President of the MEA.
Each candidate received the same questions and had the same amount of time to answer, creating a fair and balanced approach to the endorsement process.
"Too many politicians talk about education as an expense. It's not. It's an investment in our future and we owe it to our children to do everything we can to ensure they all have access to a quality public education - regardless of zip code," Michaud said. "Maine educators are our partners and as governor I'll work with educators to bring innovation to our classrooms, expand access to pre-k with a goal of achieving universal access and work to make higher education more affordable for all Maine people."